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College Tuition Insurance

There are lots of things that parents worry about when they send their children off to college, a global pandemic has not conventionally been one of them – until now. A year ago, no one would have predicted the outbreak of Coronavirus, or its impact on higher education.

So, how do you plan for the unknown when spending tens of thousands of dollars on college tuition?  Much the same as with any other disaster that could strike – by purchasing an insurance policy that may help protect you and your family from unexpected loss due to conditions you cannot control.

Tuition reimbursement insurance is gaining in popularity due to the COVID-19 emergency. Just as with other types of insurance, tuition reimbursement insurance is a way to protect your investment against losses.

These plans generally reimburse tuition, room and board, and academic fees if a student withdraws for qualifying events such as for medical or mental health conditions. The amount reimbursed varies by policy, and is impacted by when in the semester the student withdraws. Most colleges will give a partial refund if the student withdraws early on. In those cases, the insurance policy may cover the balance. If the student withdraws after the partial refund period, insurance would cover up to the full amount.

Costs for tuition reimbursement insurance are generally about 1% to 2% of the per semester cost, for example coverage for a $50,000 per semester college or university would be between $500 and $1,000.

NOTE: not all policies cover pandemic related withdrawal from college. It is important to read understand any policy before purchasing it.

Here are a few tips from the Division of Insurance (DOI):

  • Check with the DOI to see if the company offering the policy is licensed to sell this type of insurance in Massachusetts before you commit to buying their product.
  • Be sure to carefully review the coverage to understand what is, and what is not, covered.
    • Some companies offering this insurance are temporarily accepting claims from students who become ill with COVID-19. That does not mean being exposed to COVID-19, or there being an outbreak that happens on campus.
    • There is no guarantee that the company will make those accommodations in the future.
  • Tuition policies must be purchased prior to the start of the school term.
  • Tuition is one of many costs related to going to college, keep in mind that even with tuition insurance you may be out of pocket for some costs if your student withdraws.

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